Michael Schwarz presents Steve Urick with CALS employee of the month award.
Michael Schwarz, Virginia Seafood AREC director, presents CALS Employee of the Month Award to Stephen Urick, research specialist and head of VSAREC aquaculture program. Photo by Keri Rouse, Virginia Tech VSAREC

Stephen Urick, research specialist at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center, receives College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Employee of the Month Award for July, 2021.

Stephen’s nominator praised his dedication.

“Since 2011, he has been at the helm of the VSAREC’s aquaculture program, implementing and leading program support and expansion. Stephen expertly handles a majority of the logistical, financial, and reporting aspects of the aquaculture program, all critical to maintaining the VSAREC’s status as a recognized national aquaculture Research and Extension Program. Stephen maintains excellent records in support of all aquaculture related research projects for center faculty, and is also responsible for developing, maintaining, and reporting on all related IACUC requirements.  For our Annual IACUC reviews, Stephen helps assure we always get excellent compliance ratings, and he is often personally identified in VSAREC IACUC annual reports for his dedication and completeness.  Stephen has also been directly responsible for mentoring over 300 domestic and J-1 international interns, students and visiting scientists, and has directly interacted with over 2,000 local high school students through local STEM programming with Hampton and Newport News City Schools, as well as the VA Governor’s School. Stephen’s effectiveness in managing and growing the VSAREC’s Governors School mentorship program, this year resulted in the formal integration of the VSAREC as an Advisory Board Member and Partner into the Academies of Hampton, supporting pathways of Environmental Studies under The Governor’s STEM Academy of Architecture, Environment, and Engineering (AAEE) for Hampton City Schools.  Stephen has also helped tremendously over the past 2 years with new VSAREC building architectural design considerations; with an emphasis on all aquaculture facility design reviews and considerations; often working directly with the design architects and equipment vendors.”

As the July Employee of the Month, Stephen will receive a plaque, gifts from the college, have his photo displayed in the case in Hutcheson Hall, and will be eligible to be considered for the 2021-22 Employee of the Year award.